Doctors’ poking, prodding puts prospects on edge

INDIANAPOLIS — If there is one part of the NFL Scouting Combine process that college prospects dread the most, it is the medical examinations.

Seemingly, the moment a player arrives in town, he is shuttled to a hospital, where each NFL franchise literally has a team of physicians waiting to conduct a thorough examination on him.

“It’s crazy,” Michigan State LB Greg Jones told me during an interview on Sirius NFL Radio. “Right after we got off the plane, immediately you get a paper, a tag with your name on it, like a bar code (that is scanned through the examination process). I’ve done three MRIs.”

The main reason? Jones underwent shoulder surgery in 2009, and his potential NFL employers want to know the quality of the operation and how well he has healed.

As Miami CB Brandon Harris pointed out, the medical examinations are a part of the process “you don’t hear a lot about when you’re watching the combine on TV — the MRIs, the X-rays. There’s a lot of that that people don’t understand.”

The biggest surprise for Utah CB Brandon Burton came when he had seven members of a team’s medical staff “poking and pulling” on him at the same time.

For Jones, the highlight of his combine experience so far was receiving a sticker saying he was finished with the medical examinations.

“You feel like a little kid (getting a gold star),” he said with a smile. “You celebrate the smallest things.”

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